interviuri rock

Gunnar Hansen (Faustcoven)

Gunnar Hansen (Faustcoven)
BANDS : Faustcoven


Metalfan: Hello Gunnar and welcome to Metalfan!
Gunnar Hansen: Thank you, and thanks for showing interest in Faustcoven!

Metalfan: Lets start this interview with some details regarding Faustcoven. Please could you tell us more about the band?
Gunnar Hansen: Sure. Faustcoven began as an outlet for my frustrated creative energy when I started to feel that something was gone from modern black metal. You could say that it was that certain something, that indefinable ingredient which was missing, but you could just as well say that it just lacked any balls, riffs and real heaviness which would also be true. It was also an issue of wanting to do something completely on my own after playing in a band where everyone was too busy to find time for rehearsals at the same time, and at the same time being musically more stripped down than I had done before. So you can say that Faustcoven is the simplistic product of my egomania and malcontent, haha. I started out recording demos with a drum machine, but wanted to take the sound a step further and make it more organic for the official releases, so after I was signed to Barbarian Wrath I recruited Terje Kraaboel which I had been in a band with as a drummer, and recorded the first full length in 2003. After I moved from Trondheim, I started using Johnny Tombthrasher from Ghoul Cult on drums, and have since released one 7’’ split with Koldbrann and the latest full length with him in the band. That’s about where I find myself now.

Metalfan: I know that last year you have released your second full-lenght album, "Rising from Below the Earth". Why did it take you so long to release a new album?
Gunnar Hansen: Having a new job, moving to a new place, traveling a lot in said job, plus a lack of energy to start a project this big again too soon. Last but not least the fact that I was living too far away from Johnny, or indeed any other drummer I knew. Once we lived within working distance, I got to recording it as fast as I could. The actual recording also went slower than the first time, since I moved again and started a new and busier job just after recording the drums. But if we look at all the songs that I’ve written since 2002, it comes to about 130 minutes of original music in 6 years, which is not too bad actually, even if its not quite up to the level of Countess.

Metalfan: How do you feel that things have turned since you have released your first album in 2003, "The Halo of Burning Wings", and what do you think that brings new to your music "Rising from Below the Earth"?
Gunnar Hansen: The Halo of Burning Wings was the best album that I could record in 2003, and Rising From Below the Earth was the best album that I could make in 2008. Simple as that. I write songs in much the same way now as I did then, I write similar riffs, and I play in the same way. That being said I took some lessons from the first album about recording live drums that I really put to use in Rising From Below the Earth, and my equipment was better, both for recording and for mixing & mastering, so all in all this contributes to what I think is a better sounding recording which helps give RFBtE more impact, as the production is more in tune with the atmosphere I want to create. Changing the vocals was a part of that process too, as I understood that how the songs sounded meant that a deeper voice would fit better, and help contribute to the occult and doomed mood I wanted give the album.

Metalfan: Do you feel that "Rising from Below the Earth" is an conceptual album? I see that it is a link between the songs...
Gunnar Hansen: No, “Rising From Below the Earth” is definitely not a conceptual album, just a collection of songs that are made to fit together and flow well as a whole both in mood and structure. There should be an overarching sense of unity on the album if I have succeeded with what I try to do, because making an album is in one way similar to writing a song. The whole should be bigger than the pieces, and it has to flow well. Ideally better than any other way those songs could have been arranged to form the album. Lyrically, you might say that there is a recurring theme of doom, and the hand of fate striking people down, especially those who put their trust in help from above instead of helping themselves.



Metalfan: How have you decided to cover Angel Witch's, "Baphomet"? Did you feel that this is the song that you could not compose to complete the vision regarding the album? Or it was something else?
Gunnar Hansen: Firstly I enjoy doing covers of bands that I admire, both because they are awesome songs but also as statements of intent, and Baphomet is a song that I’ve loved since I first heard it! It has been in the back of my head as a potential cover almost since I started Faustcoven. It works to me because it is based on a foundation of solid and Black Sabbath-like riffs that is very easily adapted to Faustcoven, and of course because of the dark themes in their lyrics. This middle/up tempo song is also giving the possibility of some variation from my own normally slower songs without feeling out of place. So its not like the song I couldn’t make, its just another color to the palette which makes piecing together the songs to make a coherent album that flows well a little bit easier, like I pointed out the importance of in the previous question. If it hadn’t been there I would probably also have had to rotate the sequence of the songs.

Metalfan: How do you see your music? Closer to doom or to black metal?
Gunnar Hansen: That’s a good question, I always saw myself on the Black Metal side of it to be honest, but on the last album you can begin to wonder. Maybe its correct to say that the music is mostly Doom Metal riffs filtered through a Black Metal spirit? I’ve always written music that sort of fall square between several chairs, genre-wise anyway. If you ask me today, I’d say that the total package is placed comfortably in the middle of Black and Doom Metal, but I don’t mind if other ears judge it differently. Its 100% METAL any way you look at it, that’s much more important to me than nitpicking in between subgenres.

Metalfan: I've seen that now you are searching for a live vocalist, aren't you a little bit afraid that it would be hard to find a vocalist that sounds exactly or somehow near as you?
Gunnar Hansen: Well, it’s not an alternative for me to sing for several reasons, so if I ever wanted to play live with Faustcoven, I have to find someone else. I’m not worried about the new vocalist not sounding exactly like me, as even I changed vocal approach myself between the two albums. People have to accept some change. The sound of each individual element is not set in stone you know, and the live environment is anyway a different beast from studio recordings. It’s the overall picture that I’m concerning myself with, that it still will feel like Faustcoven. I will under no circumstance go on stage if I don’t feel that the band works with another vocalist, but what is really the worst that can happen? That we come across as a Faustcoven cover band? I’d still like to hear that! We’ll call ourselves Faustcover, and then everyone will be happy, haha.

Metalfan: I've seen also that you would prefer if the vocalist wouldn't wear corpse paint. Do you see corpse paint as a distraction for the audience from the musical skills of the band?
Gunnar Hansen: When you have a strong vision for your band, you just know if something feels right or not. Faustcoven is not about following the conventions of Black Metal. I answer to a larger force; that of Heavy Metal as a whole, and that musical tradition from back in the 70’s and until now. Outside the music I choose and pick the traditions I want. Corpsepaint is simply not one of them, and I feel that it has been done to death. This doesn’t mean that its not still right for some few bands, but its just not for me, and thus having one guy with Corpsepaint in a band where none of the others were using it would be doomed to visual failure.

Metalfan: Do you plan to make from Faustcoven a full time band or to keep it as well in the future as a project of your own?
Gunnar Hansen: For the moment the plans are to only have a full lineup for live performances, while for studio work I’ll still do everything but the drums myself. I’m a little particular about remaining in control of my music, while at the same time too democratic of nature to be a dictator in a full band setting. I guess I don’t have the Jon Schaffer genes, haha. Faustcoven is my vision, and so it must remain.

Metalfan: I know that Fenriz of Darkthrone has praised your latest album "Rising from Below the Earth". HOw do you feel about that?
Gunnar Hansen: I’m honored of course, seeing that Darkthrone has been a major inspiration for Faustcoven as pretty much the only second generation Black Metal band. The ugly atmospheres found on Under a Funeral Moon, Panzerfaust and Total Death was an essential ingredient when starting Faustcoven, like the heaviness and groove of Sabbath and Pentagram, and the hellraising rock attitude of Venom. Furthermore Darkthrone has in my opinion never released a bad album, and Fenriz is as genuine metal head that is very passionate about spreading the word of, and promoting newer bands that he likes, and for that he earns my total respect.


Metalfan: Is there a chance to share a colaboration with him in the future? For example, a cover from a band that you both admire?
Gunnar Hansen: I’m sure Fenriz gets about 50 requests to contribute with something from shabby metal bands every day, and rather chooses to channel his creative energy into Darkthrone, like I do for Faustcoven. Maybe if I could get Newman to play bass with us he’d be interested?

Metalfan: Please tell me, how are things going so far with the next full-lenght album, “Hellfire & Funeral Bells”? Did you  record any songs so far?
Gunnar Hansen: Nothing is recorded yet, as that’s not the way I work. I first write enough songs for the whole album, then record drums, and then finish up everything else on my own. I have quite a few ideas already. Songs and riffs are starting to develop faster than I anticipated. All in all, I’m pretty happy about the progress so far, but I doubt I will be ready to undertake such a large project as recording an album this coming year.

Metalfan: I know that Faustcoven albums are very hard to find, to you have in plan to find a better distribution for your materials?
Gunnar Hansen: Part of the deal with being on a small label is that the distribution is limited, while the artistic freedom is high. But I don’t necessarily agree that it’s very difficult to find the albums. Any person in this day and age who can use a search engine can find where to buy it, or they can check my Myspace page. It’s not the newest Metallica, so there’s never going to be any Faustcoven albums sold in gas stations, or a Guitar Hero Faustcoven edition (with slow and extra slow modes), nor is it in this day and age possible for any distribution network to compete with the ease of downloading. But for those who have decency to support an album that they like, combined with the ability to click on a link, use a shopping cart, and pay with a normal money transfer service, the difficulty of getting the album in hand is quite overcomable.

Metalfan: Thank you for your time Gunnar. In the end would you like to send few words to our readers or to add something?
Gunnar Hansen: For those interested in material from Faustcoven, check out the last full length at Barbarian Wrath, and support a great label. Also this year Faustcoven will release a demo/rehearsal anthology, and both the full length albums will be rereleased on vinyl on Nuclear War Now! Support underground Metal! Cheers!

Autor: H.
Vezi galeriile trupelor: Faustcoven

   February 10, 2009  | 0 Comments  | 7340 Views « BACK

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